Let's continue with the Kitchen and talk about cooking, eating, and other tips.
You may remember in Part One I explained about cooking on appliances and alternate cooking methods. Now I'm going to give you more tips about cooking:
1) Instead of fighting to drain a pot by holding its lid against it, just dump it all into a colander. Saves from accidents, burns, dropped food and is just so much easier. If you're saving the broth, put the colander in a large bowl.
2) The above suggestion also goes for draining fat from meats and such. I use an old large coffee can, put the colander on top and just scrape the pan into the colander and let it drain there.
3) Use extra long oven mitts, preferably non-slip types that can cover your forearms too. With low vision comes trouble with depth perception and I have burned my forearms on a hot rack because I misjudged the distance.
4) For turning food, and for serving, use a double turner spatula for better control of the food.
5) Telling if the food is done is hard to do with low vision so you can use a variety of other ways:
The number one thing to keep in mind while cooking is making sure your paths and areas are clear before moving pots and hot food and such. That includes making sure other people and pets are out of the way (or out of the kitchen).
Now, let's move on to enjoying everything we cooked!
1) Place settings should be simple and contrasting colors, like the photograph above. A dark tabletop with a light plate. If this isn't possible, then use a contrasting color place mat underneath to see the plate clearly.
2) Try an use solid colors or simple design plates. Busy designs and multiple colors adds to the visual confusion and it becomes hard to see the food on the plate (or to tell if there's still food left).
3) For the love of God and everything sacred - do NOT offer to cut their food for them! We just have a vision loss, not a "faculties" loss.
4) When serving a full plate (as in a restaurant setting), you can offer to describe the plate for them. Describe the food layout according to a clock face. "Meat is at 6 o'clock, vegetables at 3 o'clock...".
5) It's best to use plastic or colored glass drink ware. Or at least use a contrasting color coaster underneath for easier finding.
Other Kitchen Products and Tips
Now how about some other ideas for the kitchen?
1) Pouring a cold drink, keep a finger over the lip of the glass (down to second digit) while pouring. When your fingertip gets wet, you've reached the top.
2) Another tip for pouring, use a contrasting color glass or mug from the color of the liquid being poured for easy visibility. (Coffee in a white mug, orange juice in a dark cup).
3) It may help instead (especially with hot liquids) to get a level indicator alert, models can come either with a sound or vibrating alert.
4) Another tip I mentioned before (with measuring ingredients), is to pour over the sink to lessen clean-ups.
5) A trick I created for the coffeepot - as you can see by Photo 1 below, that many coffeepot tops look all solid without a clear indication of shapes or edges. So, to combat this I place my fingers on the edges (as shown in Photo 2), and pour my water in between the two fingers.
Cutting Food on the Plate
As I mentioned above, don't let someone patronize you by offering to cut your food for you. You deserve more respect than that!
So, here's some tips to do it yourself:
1) Use your fork and tip of the knife to slowly "feel" around your plate and locate food, as well as pushing food back towards the center.
2) Use the tip of the knife to feel how large the piece of food is before you cut and cut away. The weight of the food on your fork is an indicator of the size of the food and whether or not you need to cut it smaller.
3) To check if the knife blade is up or down before slicing, rock the knife back and forth on it's tip, if it rolls, it's blade down, if not, its blade up.
4) Cut meats at the 6 o'clock position, so you're not reaching over other food, and reduces spillage.
5) To check if the food is completely cut through, stick your fork, or scoop with your fork and check for a "dragging" sensation. This indicates that there's still food "attached".
6) Use heavier, "solid" food as a buffer to scoop up food, such as pushing vegetables up against mashed potatoes to scoop easier.
7) If you're at a restaurant, you can request the Cook cut the meat before it's brought out (if it'll help with awkwardness in public).
Now for some odds and ends....
1) For salt and pepper onto your plate, sprinkle into your hand and then pinch some up to sprinkle onto your food. This way you can control the amount as salt and pepper shaker flow amounts vary.
2) If passing food around the table, have the person identify the contents, do the same when you pass it to the next person as a reminder as well.
3) When receiving a serving dish, run your finger around the edge to locate the serving spoon, and with the other hand, slowly locate a spot for the food on your plate and then scoop the food and move towards your located finger (or 2 fingers like I demonstrated for the coffeepot).
4) It's perfectly okay to feel around the table and around your setting to locate things:
I hope all these tips and products for your Kitchen are useful and help you gain confidence in cooking again!
The next section in the Series will be for the Bathroom.
Feel free to send me any questions and have a great week!
Note: Many adaptations in this series can be found in my eBook.
Disclosure: Some text contains Affiliate links and I may receive compensation from them.